A former executive member of the ANC Youth League in the eThekwini region has been ordered to pay R15 000 in damages after referring to a fellow Youth League member using the k-word in a Whatsapp conversation.

In making the order, the Equality Court in Chatsworth in the south of Durban ruled that an agreement that Suzanne Govender pay R8 000 in damages did not reflect the seriousness of the offence.

The controversial WhatsApp conversation took place between Suzanne Govender and another Youth League member in December 2017 about people who Govender believed to have a knife in for her. Govender used the k-word to describe the people whom she believed to be involved.

When the conversation came to light in August 2018, Youth League member Thembeka Gcwaba laid a charge with the Equality Court. Govender resigned from her position in the Youth League in the controversy that followed.

As part of a settlement agreement, Govender wrote Gcwaba a letter of apology, saying she should not have used the word and that she has learnt her lesson.

Magistrate NN Ngcobo, however, was not satisfied with the amount of R8 000 in damages. In light of the seriousness of the offence, he ordered Govender to pay R15 000 in damages to Gcwaba in installments of R500 per month.